Writing a Winning Article

In a previous post, we suggested several sites that pay for written submissions.  The following tips will help when trying to write a first rate piece and is applicable to articles for web sites, magazines, blogs or virtually any media.

1)      Be Unique and Original – good writers are usually good readers; as such, you will run across the same basic themes time and again.  Don’t duplicate what exists, but take a different approach, tone or style, create something compelling that people will want to read and interest them in follow-on work.

2)      Creativity Counts – consider which authors you like to read and why.  Were compelling characters or topics created?  Was a normally dull topic embellished by humor, sarcasm, or wit?

3)      Maintain High Standards – nothing turns readers off faster than poor grammar, incorrect vocabulary or poor punctuation.  Remember their and they’re, one of the most common mistakes?  Don’t risk destroying a perfectly good article by failing to proofread it or have a friend provide feedback.

4)      Look for the Overlooked – almost every niche has articles written, sometimes in huge quantities.  Find an angle on a common topic that is underserved or not exploited.  Sometimes the most basic are the ones least written about; others incorrectly assume that common or mundane topics are used constantly.

5)      Summarize for Attention – this might involve the first few attention grabbing lines or a wrap up of the piece.  The former makes the reader want to continue the article while the latter provides the reader with feeling of information gained and a valuable use of time.

6)      Never Stop Learning – learn about the latest changes in your chosen niche; learn about effective writing habits.  The more information gained on a subject, the more knowledge you can provide to the reader.  Similarly, learn to improve your writing effectiveness and efficiency.